Creator: Kristine Wales. Partner: Nathaniel Blizzard.
I can be a very territorial person when it comes to the Punk scene. (It’s not my best quality, but I work on it.)
Whenever a band comes from anywhere different, even a municipality that isn’t Hamilton, I observe a lot and see if they have anything that speaks to me.
So Web Society must be quite the band if the continue to get my thumbs up and be one of the only Punk bands I know from Stoney Creek. Nathaniel and I saw the trio at This Ain’t Hollywood back in March at an edition of Sunday Slamfest, and afterwards we were treated to this interview. Band members are Stephen Petrina, Brandon Kummer, and Jeffrey Mills.
KW: How did you guys get your start?
BK: We were on the bus. I was in Grade 10, Jeff was in Grade 9. We were talking about starting a band, and a few other kids were like ‘Let’s start a Screamo band.’ I was kind of interested, because I was into Metal a lot at the time.
JM: I had played bass in the past, and I failed miserably. So then we set up a date with these random kids, mostly in his grade, and we had a screamer, a drummer. Everything. And a day before our first practice, I went to a thrift store, bought a bass, and was the first one to his house.
BK: So what happened with the practice is basically, we never got anything done. Two of the kids just hung out on the computer, chilling. Jeff and I were actually focused on learning songs. Jeff was like ‘What bands do you like?’ So I said ‘Blink 182.’ And he said ‘Hell, I like Blink 182 too.’ So I taught him ‘Dammit’, and we moved on from there.
JM: We started with playing a lot of Pop-Punk. It was easy. It was Bowling For Soup, Blink 182, Green Day.
KW: Stephen, I know that you are not the original drummer. How did you come to join the band?
SP: They messaged me once over Fa*cb*ok and asked me if I wanted to join. I said ‘sure’ because I had nothing else to do, and it sounded exciting.
KW: You guys list a lot of Pop-Punk influences, but I notice that lately the styles are changing more. Can you tell me if that is a marked decision, or just something that has happened as you guys have gotten older?
BK: We’re progressing towards a very new sound. We’re discovering more about our sound than we usually do. Stephen gives us more ideas, and me and him contribute to songwriting most of the time. Take ‘Showcase.’ That’s a complete sound-change from what we are. We’ll have a mellow Pop-Punk song, and then we’ll have a really Hard-Core song.
SP: Mix it up a little bit.
BK: Yeah, we’ll mix it up.
SP: I’m listening to a lot of Black Flag and stuff like that.
(At that Nathaniel, who was filming the interview, had a question.)
NB: Let’s talk about your side projects. I understand Stephen you have a side project, Brandon you have a side project. Jeffrey, do you have a side project?
JM: No. I guess I just don’t see the joys of multiple bands.
SP: Have we started our other side project?
BK: We have. (In explanation.) We’re looking at a Punk Rock cover band. We’re looking at playing Decendents, Ramones, Screeching Weasel, and anything farther than that.
SP: Maybe some spoken word poetry.
KW: Would you guys ever consider touring outside of Ontario?
BK: Oh absolutely.
SP: Just, we’re really young and none of us can drive.
BK: That’s the unfortunate thing. But I would love to try out the B.C Punk scene. And I wanna go to the Montreal Def House.
JM: North Berkeley.
BK: Yeah definitely!
JM: That’s the goal, it’s to get to North Berkeley.
SP: Let’s tour Winona.
JM: We’ll play in a cornfield.
NB: What do you have planned, future-wise? In terms of music?
JM: We have another full-length coming out in September.
SP: Yeah, we’re gonna work on something.
BK: We’re recording it in the summer-time and we’re thinking we might have it out for fall.
SP: Nine new songs maybe?
BK: Nine new songs. Some are off the demo because it was just a demo. But yeah, we wanna progress ourselves. More heavy, louder.
SP: Get some mosh pits started. Maybe some off-stage self-mutilation like in the 70’s.
NB: I like that theatric you did Stephen.
SP: Thank you.
NB: Where did that come from?
SP: I don’t know. I was thinking one day of what would be interesting, and current issues, and that’s it.
NB: I thought you were going to pull out your noise project. What’s it called?
SP: Oh, my Scumbag Steve stuff?
NB: Have you ever thought of incorporating that into the sets?
SP: We haven’t taken any of my acoustic stuff yet, but ‘Showcase’ came from just fooling around. Demos and stuff.
(After that, Nathaniel went inside to get footage for Thunder’s online video edition. I asked the band to stay behind so I could get some more questions, and they kindly agreed.)
KW: Aside from your Pop-Punk influences, who are each of your specific influences now?
JM: I really love Rancid, NOFX, and Anti-Flag. Though I can’t play any of their stuff. And I’m still loving Blink 182 and Green Day.
SP: My favorite band of all time is NOFX. But I’ve been listening to a lot of Black Flag and older Punk like that. I don’t know, I’m all over the place. Have you heard of Battalion of Saints? I think they’re from California, and they’re pretty cool.
(Joking.) KW: I’m a journalist. I’ve heard of everything.
BK: Right now, I would say Screeching Weasel and Green Day. They’re totally up my alley right now, because of the speed and velocity of their playing.
SP: You can’t go wrong with some old school Emo. Sunny Day Real Estate and stuff is pretty cool.
KW: You guys play the matinees, but you have also played other kinds of shows. What kind of show do you prefer to play?
SP: Punk Rock shows like these. The other shows we play are under agencies that ask you to sell tickets and make money for them, whereas the band doesn’t really get anything in return. Except a chance to play. Whereas these shows, they’re in the scene. The people who show up are into this kind of music and are here to have fun. They’re here to see music. This is the scene, this is where it’s at. And we like supporting that.
KW: What instruments do you guys play?
BK: I can play guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and clarinet.
SP: I can play drums. Not really well, but O.K. I can do the job of playing the same beat every song. I can play a little bit of guitar, just chords and stuff. It’s fun to write the songs.
JM: I can play bass and drums. Not really the drums, I bought a kit so we could jam at my house. But it’s in my basement, so I thought ‘Might as well learn.’ I don’t know. Left handed drums are weird.